Jul 24, 2013, 9:32 AM EST
This morning in Hong Kong, Tottenham and Sunderland squared off amid torrential downpours in South China, as Paolo Di Canio’s side beat Spurs 3-1.
Goals from Cabral, Wes Brown and David Moberg Karlsson handed Sunderland the comeback victory, after Gylfi Sigurdsson had opened the scoring for Spurs.
Their friendly in the Barclays Asia Trophy semifinal was in doubt, but after a delay the pitch was ready for an 80 minute game between the Premier League clubs, and the Black Cats didn’t disappoint.
For fans of the U.S. national there was plenty of interest in this one, as red-hot forward Jozy Altidore started for Sunderland while Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel put in a shift for Spurs.
Surprisingly, Sunderland ran out comfortable winners but it could have been even more convincing if Altidore had brought his shooting boots with him.
The 23-year-old USMNT striker had three glorious opportunities to score, but countryman Friedel thwarted him superbly towards the end of the game as the contest opened up. But despite missed chances, included a fresh air shot from three yards out, Altidore looked at home with his new teammates and made several good runs off the last defender that gave Tottenham plenty of problems. But he did slot in Cabral for Sunderland’s opener.
Nevertheless, Di Canio would have been pleased with Altidore and several of his new signings as they swept aside a Spurs team that was missing Gareth Bale amid increased transfer speculation.
Dempsey put in a solid performance on a heavy pitch in Hong Kong, and was substituted after 70 minutes. But one of the moments of the match came from veteran goalkeeper Friedel who made a stunning reflex save in the 73rd minute to deny Connor Wickham.
The old dog, 42 years young, still has some life left in him, it seems.
So how much can we read into these preseason friendlies? It is difficult. Sunderland certainly looked fitter and Di Canio has been working his roster tirelessly over the summer months. But you never know how both teams have structured their training around this match, as Spurs may have had a heavy session the day before.
Regardless, a welcome win for Altidore and Sunderland who’ve made the final and will play the winner of Manchester City and South China in the four-team tournament.
As for Altidore, maybe he’s saving up all his goals for the World Cup qualifiers later this year?
- UEFA rules set up Arsenal, Manchester City for tough Champions League Round of 16 draws 0
- No, the South Florida team will NOT be “Miami Beckham United;” plus the MLS news roundup for Dec. 11 0
- UEFA Champions League recap: Barça, Chelsea, Dortmund claim groups; Arsenal through; Juve out 0
- Demba Ba’s goal enough to give Chelsea 1-0 Champions League win, first place in Group E 0
- Neymar’s first three Champions League goals see Barcelona to 6-1 win, top of Group H 0
- Arsenal advance in Champions League, but Napoli out despite win 0
- 2014 World Cup Draw: Recapping the event (43)
- 2014 World Cup Draw: USA in Group of Death with Germany, Portugal, Ghana – Schedule, times, venues (34)
- Now that we know the U.S. opponents, which 23 players should Jurgen Klinsmann bring to Brazil? (21)
- Sporting Kansas City crowned 2013 MLS champions after 10 rounds of penalty kicks (16)
- MLS commissioner Don Garber to ESPN: “no chance” Chivas USA to be contracted or moved (14)
- Watch Out Netherlands! Chile-Clan Ain't Nothin' to Mess With!
- Messi on Safe Track to Full Recovery
- The Argentinian Armada, Favorites for Brazil 2014
- Brazil 2014: A Look At South America
- Arena de Amazonia: Host of USA vs CR7
- USA Will Advance in Brazil
- Group B: No Walk In The Park
- Analyzing The Draw From An Azzurri Viewpoint
- Q&A With Alvaro Saborio
- Ronaldo: "I Didn't See the Draw, I Was Asleep"